Easy Senior Exercises

7 Easy Senior Exercises

At any age, prioritizing exercise and making time for it can be a challenge. Since some seniors may also be navigating additional health conditions or mobility challenges, committing to an exercise routine may be much further down the list of preferred activities than the weekly lunch meet-up with friends or the couples’ snacks and Scrabble night. However, as the National Council on Aging emphasizes, exercise is perhaps the most important of any senior activities, since it not only supports one’s physical health but also contributes to both emotional and mental well-being. To help you or a loved one enjoy the many benefits of a senior exercise routine, take a look at the following seven easy exercise ideas!

7 Easy Ideas for a Senior Exercise Routine


According to the National Institute on Aging, seniors should enjoy exercises focused on four key areas, including endurance, flexibility, balance and strength. For reference, the following senior exercises that adhere to one or more of the NIA’s recommended exercise types and ideas about how to practice them.

  1. Yoga: This comprehensive practice offers many holistic health benefits, which is why it is often offered at assisted living communities and other senior care locations. Many poses simultaneously build strength, balance and flexibility, so individuals can target multiple types of exercise with each pose. Whether you take 3-5 minutes in your own space for a single pose, like mountain pose or tree pose, or attend a class at your local studio or retirement community’s recreation space, you can care for both your physical and mental well-being. Additionally, this activity can be easily modified and adapted for each individual’s unique needs or health considerations. For example, Yoga Journal has curated a list of chair yoga poses that can make a yoga practice even more accessible.
  2. Lunges and Squats with a Chair: Some seniors enjoy using weights or machines to build strength doing lunges or squats. An easier version of these challenging leg exercises that still offers the same benefits can be done simply using a chair for support. For additional guidance about these moves, Healthline shares some step-by-step directions about a variety of chair exercises.
  3. Walking: From taking 10,000 steps a day or adhering to the CDC’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise a week, sometimes these targets can be daunting. Just remember – any exercise is better than no exercise! If you can achieve or exceed any encouraged goals, that’s great, but developing an easier walking routine that meets where you are or accommodates your needs might better support a more consistent exercise regimen to start. Building your senior exercise practice in an assisted living setting? Consider setting a daily goal to walk for at least 5 minutes 6 times a day. Just by attending meal times, you may already have met three of the six scheduled activity times!
  4. Chair Steps: If jogging or biking are a bit too high-intensity or you simply want to try something different, taking steps or marching while holding onto a chair provides a more supportive exercise opportunity. This activity can help build endurance, as well as strength and balance. If you need to take a break, a seat is there at the ready!
  5. Arms and Core with the Wall: Wall push-ups are a great way to enjoy the strength-building benefits of classic push-ups in a way that is easier on your joints and more accessible in many bodies. SilverSneakers offers six options for wall push-ups to help you find a favorite exercise that works for you!
  6. Dancing: Attend a community dance class or social event on your own or with friends. Turn on your favorite song and enjoy some gentle swaying of the hips or arms. This activity is low impact and helps with balance and flexibility.
  7. Workouts with weights: People often think about cardiovascular workouts when it comes to exercise, but strength training is an equally important part of a comprehensive exercise approach. According to the CDC, strength-building activities should be done at least twice a week. While these exercises can be completed with weights or resistance bands, using bodyweight is often more than enough for easy strength and mobility practices, like shoulder rolls, arm circles, seated leg lifts, or side leg raises.

For exercise opportunities in your senior assisted living or retirement community, monthly or daily event calendars often publicize opportunities for private exercise options like using exercise videos provided via in-house TV channel, as well as more social exercise experiences like yoga and core fitness classes. Before starting any new health routines, especially if navigating any ongoing health considerations or injuries, be sure to check with your healthcare team for additional guidance.

From helping with fall prevention to looking younger to warding off depression in seniors, intentionally making exercise part of a senior’s regular routine can support a healthier and happier life. Many of these easy senior exercises can be done at home, and seniors living in a community like Arbors of Hop Brooks can leverage the available wellness programs to support their efforts. To learn more about everything that our comprehensive care community has to offer, contact us today!